Comic Gives Audience ABCs of Network Industry

SAN DIEGO (01/27/2000) - It's simple -- cut away the technical jargon and the principle is easily understood. "It's taking more money from people in another way," says Sinbad, the popular U.S. stand-up comic. "It's sucking up money in any way we possibly can."

Sinbad was addressing a packed audience of IBMers and their channel partners gathered for a keynote address Tuesday morning at the PartnerWorld trade show.

Sinbad, who has a computer background, kept the audience entertained and on its toes with his sharp repartee. Arriving unannounced, Sinbad dismissed IBM Corp. executive Buell Duncan, who was originally in the middle of addressing the audience.

He told Duncan to get rid of his conservative suit, and change into something more contemporary. At the end of Sinbad's comedy shtick -- showing he was a good sport in the new IBM tradition, Duncan returned dressed in a red suit identical to Sinbad's own signature loose-fitting pants and tunic. Like the comic, he had a large earring in each ear.

For about 20 minutes, Sinbad used his razor-sharp wit to carve up some of the industry's foibles. He defined an enterprise Java Bean as something programmers eat to write code; Java is IBM coffee. He also says he tried to write Java script, but realizing he had a life, he gave up.

Some of his quips:

"Linux is five years away," Sinbad notes. "It's a great thing. But no one knows what to do with it."

Windows 2000 is really just Mac '89, and it will be available in 2002.

Sinbad also suggested that software should be sold via drive through windows, like McDonald's hamburgers.

He says he regretted that Y2K didn't result in any real disaster, but there will be some families eating canned beans for the next eight years because they hoarded it in anticipation.

Sinbad says he has five Web sites, and he uses them to sell things that aren't even his. "I'm selling stuff that doesn't even belong to me. I'm going to blow this Internet thing and sell everything and go to prison and blame it on IBM," he said. "They said I could do it because it was e-commerce."

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